In spite of a well earned P3 and P4 finish for the Mercedes drivers in Baku, the team was left concerned with the porpoising in the W13.
Porposing has been an ever present problem in the Mercedes camp this season. It’s an issue that has affected everyone, but the Silver Arrows have suffered the post.
Midway into Sunday’s Azerbaijan GP, Lewis Hamilton complained about the bouncing on the team radio. “My back is killing me,” the seven time World Champion said. When the cameras showed Hamilton’s onboard, fans could understand why that was the case. The porpoising on the W13 looked brutal.
@MercedesAMGF1 @fia @F1 This major problem requires urgent immediate action to detail look how crippled @LewisHamilton is with that back pain, nobody wants to watch F1 and see drivers hurting like this. Porpoising is a health risk, sort it ASAP!! pic.twitter.com/pDsJeqmLAO
— (@SirHamilton44) June 12, 2022
After the race, it took the 37-year old some time before he could leave his car and when he did, it seemed like he was having difficulty in moving and walking. He later confirmed on social media that the race had left him with severe back pains.
McLaren driver Lando Norris, who finished ninth on Sunday felt that Mercedes could easily get rid of the porpoising. According to him, the Brackley based outfit refuse to do so, so as to not compromise it’s performance.
Toto Wolff dismisses Lando Norris comments on Mercedes porpoising
McLaren did not particularly suffer from any kind of porpoising, mainly due to the fact that they didn’t quite have a good straight line speed. However, it did not stop them from earning a P8 and P9 finish in the Azerbaijani capital.
Norris feels that porposing is an issue that Mercedes can work on, by raising the height of the car. “I’m sure Mercedes can raise the ride height,” the 22-year old said after the race. “But it would cost them performance.”
“Even if we went higher, the bouncing would remain somewhere.”
— deni (@fiagirly) June 12, 2022
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff does not see eye to eye with the Bristol born driver. He insisted that the W13 is designed in a way which brings porpoising, regardless of how they set the car up. In fact, he added that the height at which they run the car prevents their chassis from breaking.
“We would do it, but it doesn’t work,” the Austrian said. “At high speed, the tyres are the best dampers. They’re bump stoppers for us.” They are used to prevent the chassis from breaking through.”
In spite of the porpoising problems, Mercedes can look back on Baku as a successful outing. They’re now just 38 points away from Ferrari who are P2 in the Constructors’ Standings.